Friday, April 10, 2009

Boss Godfrey's 4/9/09 Dog & Pony Show: The Aftermath

The estimated project price tag doubles nearly overnight

This morning's Standard-Examiner carries a front page story, reporting on Boss Godfrey's Mt. Ogden Golf Course makeover boondoggle, which the Godfrey administration presented at last night's city council work meeting. Shockingly, the price tag as the project is presently projected has been bumped up a bit with typical Godfrey adminstration mission-creep. The project is now reportedly projected to cost the taxpayers $146 million, more than double the $70 million cost reported just a few days ago. Check out Scott Schwebke's morning story here:
Golf course proposal tees off / Committee presents its $146M improvement plan
We'll dispense for the most part with our own editorial comments, except to note that Godfrey-lemming Councilmember Brandon Stephenson is apparently wild about the proposed project:
Councilman Brandon Stephenson said he's impressed by the report's detail.
"I really liked the ideas presented and the sources of funding given and all the options," he said.
Of course Mr. Stephenson never saw a Godfrey grand scheme that didn't drive him wild with excitement; and as the last surviving "rubber stamp" member of the 2003-05 "Gang of Five" council, we really could expect nothing less than that.

And what are the sources of the funding that Councilman Stephenson gushes about? Mainly a high adventure hotel... and condominium sales, of course, pretty much the same funding sources underlying most other underperforming or stalled Godfrey signature projects, such as Godfrey's Junction Project and Gadi Leshem's Renaissance Village (The River Project).

We'll also use this article as an opportunity to invite our gentle readers to comment on the project as it's now revealed, in which connection we'd particularly love to hear from readers who attended last night's Dog & Pony Show. We hope everyone who attended had a danged good time.

The floor's open O Gentle Ones.

The blogosphere awaits our readers' ever-savvy comments.


dan s. said...

The map that accompanies this article appears to be an obsolete version, showing almost half of the condo area on WSU land.

The map in the report that was presented to the council last night, however, shows the condo area farther north. This change keeps it mostly off of WSU land but pushes the condos onto what is now a portion of the golf course.

In other words, it appears that the mayor wishes to break his campaign promise to preserve the golf course as open space.

dan s. said...

From page 12 of the consultants' market analysis:

"At the time of this assessment, a gondola connecting Ogden City to Ogden Valley is undergoing approval. This is planned to run along the southern portion of the project."

dan s. said...

Was WSU represented at last night's work session? Did they say what it would cost to relocate the two buildings, or whether they'd be willing to give up a future building site and a bunch of parking to accommodate this scheme?

RudiZink said...

Thanks, Dan. I'd love to get my hands on an electronic copy of that "market analysis."

Curmudgeon said...


And the page talking about the "planned" gondola currently "undergoing approval" also says that it will provide speedy connection between Ogden and Snow Basin. As I recall, Snow Basin management has said repeatedly that the resort is not interested in an over-mountain gondola to Ogden. In fact, at one point, it took to the SE to correct the Mayor's repeated false claim that his Flatland Gondola would connect with Snow Basin.

And so I think we have to wonder how much more erroneous information was fed to the consultants by the mayor to work into their analysis.

danny said...

From the article:

"Financing for the park could come from the sale of naming rights, donations from local outdoor recreation companies and Weber County RAMP funds," said The Skipper.

Yeah, that's where the funding was supposed to come from for the downtown icicle and convalescent home for Jeff Lowe - so said Godfrey and his bureaucratic hack in city council meeting.

NOBODY believed it. How much did they raise? ZERO.

Godfrey long ago crossed the threshold of stupidity and entered the house of dumb. In fact, he was born there.

People who keep saying he is a corrupt, misguided genius need to finally admit all he has ever been is two out of three.

Ray said...

So did the analysis state why Strong’s Canyon needs such a facility with 3 existing winter parks in nearby Ogden Valley? One of which is a real Olympic sized winter park. With groomed x-country trails at Snow Basin and North Fork Park largely under utilized, do we need to spend 1.3 million dollars for more, with R.A.M.P. grants, no less? I don't believe most folks voted for R.A.M.P. tax to help the pipe dreams of politicians and developers!

meat loaf said...

Don't be sad...

Two out of three ain't bad.

Ray said...

Or maybe I should have said 1/2 pipe dreams of politicians and developers...

what would jesus say said...

If Godfrey suggested that a corn cob haning out of yer ass would be cool, Brandon Stephenson would be first in line for vaseline. What a prick!

Southsider said...

I don't see any mention of a developer or owner other then the city of Ogden. So where does the $146,000,000 come from?

HAHAHA said...

"However, before the council begins exploring any of the committee's suggestions, it will likely need a formal recommendation from Mayor Matthew Godfrey regarding what other studies may be needed, Stephenson said."

Seems to me it's high time for the council to formally "explore" the idea of getting psychiatric treatment for both Godfrey and Stephenson.

Ogden Fan said...

This is a proposal that should be coming from a private developer. It makes no sense for the city of Ogden to be involved as a developer.

blackrulon said...

I have some questions and concerns about this proposal. Since the cost has doubled since first proposed how accurate are the cost estimates? What do the current hotels and motels think about building another hotel? What is the current occupancy rate in local motels & motels? What would it cost to simply bulldoze the current golf course and build a new playable one in its place? What do the original planners and designers say about the criticism of the current course? Will any private developers come aboard and pay costs or is the city going to be responsible for the entire 146 million dollars cost? How long will it take to turn a profit or even break even?

13th Apostate said...

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch…and what would the Bloggers have the city do to make Mt Ogden Golf Course profitable? If nothing else, at least Godfrey is making an honest attempt to turn Ogden into something other than a desirable place for yet another street food vender stand.

Southsider said...


Maybe the city should form a golf course study committe to look in to all that!

Anonymous said...

Note to Ogden City administration:

No developer will construct a hotel on the east bench above our Utah home.

There will occur no further development in and around Taylor's Canyon, or in the boulder fields to the south of Taylor's Canyon.

And, as this project will not come to pass, and as we have no desire to witness a protracted civil slap-fight, we strongly suggest that you withdraw the proposal, perhaps using the standby, "fiscally unfeasible in this market", and move your civic vision towards a project that does not include the land-area delineated above.

Speaking plainly, it would be better for you to let the golf course go fallow.
We have our own agenda on this one.

You're welcome.

Laughing said...

Godfrey and honest can't be part of the same sentence.

what would jesus say said...

Have the city do what a city is supposed to, provide clean water, good streets, garbage, sewer, police and fire protection. And get the friggin hell out of the development business!

oldguy said...

Apparently the Petersen group has overlooked the fact that both Snowbasin and Powder Mountain have plans to develop destination resorts at some point in the future. A Snowbasin project will undoubtedly include at least one golf course and a development amounting to a small city.

Needless to say,both of these developments will be contending for the tourist dollar - the same dollars that Kent Petersen believes that Ogdencan claim. Also, a Snowbasin destination resort will be done "first class" and they will have no problem funding it no matter how grandiose it becomes. So, some timely advice to the Mayor and Mr. Petersen (this Petersen spells his name with an e)-don't push your luck! Get out while you still can without bankrupting our fair city-assuming that Ogden's welfare is a matter of concern to you.

Anonymous said...

"They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

~Lewis Carroll

ozboy said...

If I am not mistaken, the Lil Lord and his circle of incompetent empty suits do not have one single project under their collective belts that is an unqualified success. Every single thing they have been involved with originating is a loser - to the tune of over a hundred million dollars out of the tax payers pockets.

We have seen nothing from them but dishonesty, manipulations, incredibly stupid business decisions, insider dealings, back room gyrations, lies, lies and more lies.

The only people that have benefited from this unprecedented waste of tax payer's money are friends of the mayor and contributors to him.

Can any one here in the land of Oz refute the above? If you can, please enlighten us.

MO IS OK said...


curious 1 said...

Since I couldn't attend was the mayors supporters all there giddy with this proposal? Geigers, Wilkerson, Thayne, Tom Moore, Gary Nielson, and other high adventure seekers.

Also when does the city get the Grant money back from the Windsor Hotel developers since they haven't performed on their contract?

As for 13th's comment, when the taxpayers stop having to make up Junction bond payments for the private businesses there, then maybe those asking questions will be silenced. There is a big difference in just bitching and getting involved for the community good, not just the few who have benefited from being the mayors friends and donors.

Anonymous said...

"...dishonesty, manipulations, incredibly stupid business decisions, insider dealings, back room gyrations, lies, lies and more...".

In all of the above, a functioning politician must become a master,
except one.
That of "incredibly stupid business decisions".

It would lack foresight to disturb the bird and other wildlife populations that live, quite nicely, in the area the city administration would tear up.

Far more valuable in the not so distant future, this land is a type of legacy trust; a real estate that will be worth 10 times its current valuation, within our childrens lifetimes.

Now, we have a pro-development mayor, and suddenly,...?
Why the rush of doing anything with it?

Bastards, silly hubris-filled semi-sentient ape things.

Anonymous said...

Did we fail to mention that that we love this town?
We did.

Consider it said.

common sense said...

Salt Lake County politicians and citizens passing an open space bond have the foresight to protect these irreplaceable type places for future generations. Ogden's short sighted mayor only sees potential profit for developer-type campaign contributors and monuments to ego in Ogden's crown jewels.

oldguy again said...

I'll admit, I flunked Business 101 and even have trouble balancing my check book but the P. Committee presentation on funding seemed pretty vague to me. How do you derive a profit from an operation unless you own it? If condo's and hotels are going to fund the P. Resort than isn't Ogden going to have to build them in order to derive an income for payback on the investment? How about an easy to understand explanation from one of you $ savy bloggers out there.

democrat said...

13 apostate;

The adverage cost of maintaning a one acre city park is over $100 k a year.

The MT Ogden golf cource and soccor field and tennis court only cost $350 k a year and it is over 25 acres. The golf cource is not loosing money. It is making money.

Godfrey is trying to legally squander the 146 million dollars.

You that believe Godfrey are a bunch of dumbasses!!

WhatWardRUin said...

Not much new I can add to all the great observations above (minus 13th Apostate of course), but I do have one question; who paid for the studies, travel, printing, and other related expenses to produce this rediculous report? The only money Godfrey has is pilferred from other Department operating accounts, so who got pinched?

jus wonderin said...

Dan S,
does the market analysis seriously mention a gondola from Ogden city to Ogden VALLEY? Really? Into the Valley? Where on earth is this gondola going to run? Will it pick people up from the Snow Basin lodge and take them down to Pineview and over to Huntsville? How stupid are these people? No need to answer.

dan s. said...


I guess once you're up on top of the ridge and looking down the other side, they figure you're in Ogden Valley.

Was At The Work Meeting said...


Councilwoman Jeske did ask the Mayor where the money had come from to send the committee to Maryland and Alabama. Godfrey's reply was that it was from his technical/training budget. He felt it was more beneficial to send the committee to visit those golf courses than for him to attend a conference. And I'm willing to bet the printing and binding of the report was done in-house.

Ogden Resident said...

Was At The Work Meeting

If you recall as well the Mayor said that he thoght that the entire cost of the trip was only 2 or 3 thousand dollars. This included lodging, meals, airfare and retail cars. In my travels I find that number to be awfully low for the number of people that went on the trip.
I also believe that Mr. Peterson said the whole process i.e. the trip, the outside produced reports and a 3 inch thick report only cost the city about 10 thousand dollars. Again I find that number unbelievable.

ozboy said...

Mr. Svengali

"Bastards, silly hubris-filled semi-sentient ape things"

Your poetry is fantabulous and I bow to it. Furthermore I recommend your license be renewed.

blackrulon said...

after reading the comments I have a idea. Instead of building a gondola lets try something different. How about a series of catapults? They could move people as quickly as a gondola. People who use the simulated free flying at the Junction would love the experience. We could also rent them out to the people who go to the renaissance fairs.It would be a true medevial experience. Imagine how quickly you could get your pizza delivered. A relay of catapults would surely qualify as high adventure. The jobs created by selling parachutes for safe descent would help Ogden. If they fly over Mount Ogden golf course they could spot lost balls.

blackrulon said...

There are even more reasons to build catapults. It would provide a use for trees cut from Chris Petersons basin. The costs of building a hotel/condo development would be lowered. No elevators needed. Just launch guests to open windows in their rooms. Why go to the Salt Lake airport. Just have the planes fly over Ogden and we will will catapult you into a open door. I expect to see a video on the virtues of the Ogden catapult system on the mayors channel 17. No need to build ski lifts, just catapult to the top of the mountain and ski or bike down. Many businesses could cluster at the base of the catapult. I see custom parachutes for launchers, flight insurance and changes of clothes.

Daryl said...


Great idea! Similar in concept to one proposed on the WCF a year or so ago. I think it was called "Sling and Slide"?

googlegirl said...

Ozboy's Sling and Slide (2005)

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